Supermarket workers in Wales hushed kettles and phone chargers from shelves today as "power-mad" First Minister Mark Drakeford banned the sale of "non-essential" items during the country's coronavirus fire lockdown.
Tesco and Lidl staff became Wales' first "trolley police" when they hid shelves of "non-essential" items behind plastic wrap to deter customers from buying them before restrictions began tonight arrived at 6 p.m.
In other major supermarkets, Sainsbury's staff worked around the clock to make changes while Waitrose reviewed government guidelines and Asda claimed it had "very little time" to implement the new rules.
Four employees at a Tesco store in Pontypool inspected the cover-up for a 20-minute test run before the latest restrictions went into effect. Witnesses admitted they had never seen anything like it.
Mr Drakeford described preventing supermarkets from selling non-essential products during the fire lock as "a simple matter of fairness".
The Welsh Labor leader couldn't hide his frustration today as he was repeatedly asked about the restrictions, which have now been in place for 17 days. He said they were "fair" and crucial in stopping the virus from spreading.
He told a press conference in Cardiff that any suggestion that the ban announced Thursday was based on his own policy was "nonsensical".
He said: “We are asking hundreds of small businesses to close on the main road across Wales.
“We can't do that and then allow supermarkets to sell goods that these people can't sell.
“And we try to minimize the time people spend outside their homes in that two-week period.
"This is not the time to go shopping for non-essential items in supermarkets."
He said trying to find exemptions from the rules was "just the wrong" approach and urged the people of Wales not to use the ceasefire to do things they don't have to.
"It's a simple matter of fairness – we're here in Wales together," he added.
It has been confirmed that police checks will be in place on an important stretch of the border with England. Gloucestershire Constabulary can tell drivers wishing to drive to Wales to turn around if officials are not satisfied with their explanation.
If they refuse, police said they will notify the armed forces in Wales so they can issue a fine.
Mr Drakeford has long had a conflict with Boris Johnson when he tried to impose travel restrictions in England on those living in cities with high numbers of cases.
Elsewhere, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today that Scotland will enter a new five tier system of Covid-19 restrictions.
The new model will take effect on November 2nd, when current hospitality restrictions expire. It comprises five levels of measures from level zero to level four that are applied in different parts of Scotland.
In Other Developments As Wales Prepared For Its Lockdown:
- The UK confirmed 20,530 more coronavirus cases and 224 deaths as SAGE insisted the R-rate fell slightly
- Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that Scotland will enter a new five tier system of Covid-19 restrictions on November 2nd
- New data showed that almost half of local authorities in England saw a drop in coronavirus infections last week
- Experts claimed Britain could never eradicate Covid-19 – even if it bans all international travel to the nation
- Police are stopping drivers at the Irish border to see if they can travel – as high-level bans are in place on both sides of the intersection
Supermarket workers in Wales covered kettles and phone chargers on shelves today when First Secretary Mark Drakeford banned the sale of "nonessential" items during the country's coronavirus fire lockdown
Lidl closed all "non-essential" aisles in Porthmadog, long before today's 6:00 p.m. deadline, with the ban that should apply for the duration of the 17-day "fire break" ban
First Minister Mark Drakeford (pictured today) said it would be "made clear" to supermarkets that only certain parts of their stores could be opened to sell essentials
Not essential or essential? What we know about which goods are banned in Wales' fire safety
First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced that non-essential items will not be allowed to be sold during the country's fire lockdown.
To date, the Welsh Government has not published a public list of the goods.
The supermarkets also didn't respond if they were given specific instructions on what they couldn't sell.
However, the information gathered today suggests that these items cannot be sold during the 17 days of restrictions:
- water heater
- Phone chargers
- Electrical products
Supermarket customers in Wales today said sales of duvets, bedding and electrical appliances had been stopped by Tesco employees who had covered the shelves with plastic.
31-year-old Tesco customer Jamie Cole said the aisle with kettles and phone chargers is also "completely closed" despite being "needed" as temperatures gradually drop across the country.
Mr. Cole said, “I was shocked, it's pretty bad. Bedding should be available for children and mothers. We're coming into winter, it's cold outside, I couldn't believe it.
“I don't have children of my own, but my girlfriend and sister have children, she's also pretty shocked. You rely on Tesco as it is the only supermarket in our town.
“That was at 10:49 am today, the restrictions won't take effect until 6:00 pm and all other supermarkets are fine. The employees only follow orders, it happened so quickly. They only announced it around 7pm last night.
“I'm 30 years old and I've never seen anything like it in my life. You follow the rules then do this, it's pretty intimidating. There was another corridor that was also completely closed, namely the stationery corridor and the electrical system.
“If you needed a kettle or a phone charger, this aisle was completely closed. I've done some homework and there isn't a key items list on the Wales government website.
"I think it's the supermarket that decides which items are important."
A spokesperson for Tesco confirmed to MailOnline: "Our colleagues across Wales will be working incredibly hard today to ensure that we can comply with the Welsh Government's ban on selling" nonessential "goods to our customers from 6pm this evening."
It came after Mr. Drakeford snapped today when he was toasted over his ban on the shops selling the items in his lock.
The Labor First Minister couldn't hide his frustration when asked repeatedly about the restrictions, which went into effect at 6 p.m. for 17 days.
He insisted that they were "fair" and crucial in stopping the virus from spreading.
However, when asked if it was “imperative” for parents to buy new school pants if their children tear them up, Drakeford groaned, “It's just the wrong way to approach this whole business.
"We're back to the approach of how to bypass the rules for coronavirus."
A barrier was erected at a Tesco supermarket in Swansea today as supermarkets are instructed to stop selling non-essential items
The clothes aisle at Tesco supermarket in Pontypool was closed after the Welsh government banned the sale of non-essential items
First Minister Mark Drakeford said at a press conference today that supermarkets cannot sell goods that small shops cannot sell. In the picture: A Lidl aisle in Porthmadog that was closed by employees
HOW HAVE INFECTIONS CHANGED IN WALES?
Wales has pulled the trigger on a 17-day "fire safety" ban after the average daily infections more than tripled in a month.
The seven-day moving average, believed to be the most accurate measure of breakouts as it takes into account daily fluctuations, was 238 on September 23.
It currently stands at 894, according to an analysis of the numbers from Public Health Wales.
The weekly infection rate per 100,000 in Wales has also increased by almost a quarter in one week.
It currently stands at 199.2 after rising from 160.6 last Friday.
The rate of 199.2 per 100,000 is significantly higher than Scotland's 161.2 but still below England's 213.6.
Northern Ireland – the smallest population in the UK at 1.8 million – has the highest home country rate at 378.6.
To get a feel for how quickly the crisis has grown in Wales, only 3.7 cases per 100,000 per week were recorded in August, the lowest in the UK.
The nation's 761 new cases today bring the number of confirmed cases to 40,253.
A quarter of it was recorded in the last fourteen days.
There have been 10,625 cases since Sept. 11 – although the real number is believed to be much higher because so many people are asymptomatic or untested.
He added irritably, "There is a greater price at stake here than whether or not you have to buy a candle."
Mr Drakeford insisted that it was unacceptable to allow supermarkets to continue selling clothing and other products while smaller retailers were closed.
"We're all here in Wales," he said at a press conference in Cardiff.
"This is no time to go shopping for non-essential items in supermarkets."
Anger rose today, however, as Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething made it clear that alcohol is a key element under the confusing new rules – but insisted that hair dryers don't.
He also acknowledged that a "line by line" list of products sold was "unusable" and hoped retailers would have an "adult understanding".
There are fears that this will mark a return to the scenes seen at the start of the pandemic, when there was controversy over the contents of people's shopping carts.
Mr Drakeford said this afternoon that local restrictions have managed to contain the spread of the virus but not "turn it back".
He compared advances like Torfaen positively to areas in England like Oldham.
But he said the "brief sharp shock" of a lockdown was now essential.
"We need to act now because the virus is rising too quickly," he said.
Many retailers will be forced to close completely during the "fire safety" lockdown, but grocery stores and pharmacies can remain open.
During a bruised interview with Kay Burley on Sky News, Mr Gething said the Welsh government was producing "categories" for sale.
"A supermarket that sells clothes is not essential. We want adults to understand what they can do so that they can do that."
He added, “We don't want to go line by line through thousands of product items. That would be useless from their and our point of view, ”he said.
Burley asked if the situation meant alcohol was essential but a hair dryer was not.
"Well, food and drink are things we had in the first phase of the pandemic. They are available everywhere," Gething replied.
When the moderator insisted, "Trust me, my hair dryer is important", Mr. Gething replied, "No, it isn't, Kay."
Burley said: 'Of course it is. Look at the condition of your hair compared to mine. I need to dry my hair, you can towel dry yours. & # 39;
But Mr Gething replied, "I don't think the biggest problem on people's minds in Wales is going to be whether they can buy a hair dryer for the next two weeks."
The hard line in Wales has been mercilessly mocked by social media users who created memes to circumvent the new regulations
Health Department data shows how different weekly infection rates are in Wales. In dark blue areas, at least 200 cases for every 100,000 people were diagnosed for the week ending October 18. Light blue has a rate between 101 and 200. In dark green areas between 100,000 and 100 cases were found for every 100,000 people; light green saw between 11 and 50 positive tests for the same number of people.
A graph shows how the number of coronavirus cases in Wales has increased since the end of August, but less in recent days
A graph shows how the number of coronavirus hospitalizations in Wales has increased in the past few days but not skyrocketed
A graph shows how coronavirus deaths have increased in Wales since late August, but less in recent days
During a bloody interview with Kay Burley on Sky News, Vaughan Gething said the Welsh government was producing "categories" that could be sold
Welsh lockdown rules
- Supermarkets can only sell "essential items".
- Pubs and restaurants closed
- Only leave the house to buy groceries, medication, or play sports
- Household mix indoors and outdoors prohibited
- Most secondary school children stay home as soon as the half semester ends on October 30th
- Work from home wherever possible
- Wear face masks indoors and on public transportation
The country's police forces have not released any information on how the process will work. However, more details are expected to be announced later.
The move sparked anger among the opposition and Welsh Conservative Andrew RT Davies tweeted, "The power goes into their heads".
The lockdown is considerably more severe than the three-tier system in England. Wales requires people to stay at home except for limited purposes such as sports and the complete closure of pubs, restaurants, hotels and non-essential shops.
This week a travel ban for hotspot areas in England to Wales was passed despite the Police Federation calling it "unenforceable".
In contrast, even in England's strictest tier three areas, some outdoor social gatherings are allowed and pubs can remain open provided they offer customers a "full meal".
As a result, revelers took to the streets of Cardiff city center last night to enjoy a blast in the city before the new restrictions went into effect.
In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also wants to go tougher than the Prime Minister, with more curbs to fight the pandemic, despite downplaying claims by a top advisor that families should prepare to watch loved ones over Zoom this Christmas on the ongoing crisis.
Mr Drakeford said it was being "made clear" to supermarkets that only certain parts of their stores could be opened to sell essentials.
Retailers have only been given a few hours to put together plans for the lockdown, which will run through November 9th, as shopkeepers argue that the rules don't make sense as customers are already in their stores to get the "essentials." “Item to buy.
Mr Drakeford made the announcement on a Senedd committee in response to a question from conservative MS Russell George who said it was "unfair" to force independent clothing and hardware retailers to close while similar goods are being sold in large supermarkets .
"At the first restrictions, people understood to some extent that supermarkets weren't closing all the things they might have needed," Drakeford said.
“I don't think people will be as understanding this time around, and we are going to make it clear to the supermarkets that they can only open those parts of their business that supply people with essential goods and that do not include some of the things Russell George mentioned, which other people are prevented from selling.
"So we will make sure that there is a level playing field for the next two weeks."
Starting Friday, all leisure and non-essential retail stores will be closed, including clothing stores, furniture stores, and car dealerships. A full list has yet to be published.
Shops that are allowed to remain open include supermarkets and other grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and post offices.
Young people had their last chance for a two-week evening in Cardiff last night
The law allows firms that run a business that offers a mixed set of services to open if they discontinue the services that need to close.
Mr George said: “It is deeply worrying that, given that we are only days from the lockdown, we are still waiting for a full list of the types of businesses to shut down and guidance to be published Business closures.
“At a time of considerable uncertainty, it is – intentionally or not – completely unacceptable to create even more concern and fear, which this government unfortunately manages.
“The people and businesses of Wales deserve better than to be left in the dark. In order to ensure people's jobs and livelihoods, I urge the Welsh Labor Government to heed our demands and immediately publish a list. & # 39;
Andrew RT Davies, the Conservative shadow health secretary, tweeted, "The power goes into their heads."
He later added, “Is a Strongbow pitcher considered essential? What about much-needed panties when you run short?
"I hope there are some published guidelines on what the Labor Commissioners think is essential."
Sue Davies of consumer group Which? Said the announcement would create "confusion", especially among the vulnerable.
"Our own research has shown that nearly half of those who identified themselves as situationally vulnerable during the previous lockdown in Wales had difficulty accessing the groceries and groceries they needed," she said.
“The Welsh Government must act now to resolve the situation where retailers can and cannot sell, and urgently identify those who need support most to ensure that no one at risk is in trouble To get access to groceries and other basics you need. '
The First Minister said he would keep the principality closed for as short as possible but insisted it was necessary to interrupt a "rising tide" of cases – even though Wales has a lower rate of infection than England.
The decision to impose a "short and deep" lockdown by November 9th, reflecting Sir Keir Starmer's national demands and wiping out Halloween and Bonfire Night, sparked angry political backlash.
The data showed England had a coronavirus infection rate of 166 per 100,000 people for the week of October 14, while Wales had a rate of 163 per 100,000.
Welsh Tories said it would doom the country to an endless cycle of two-week lockdowns, while Conservative MPs in Westminster said it was a "blunt instrument" and "the closure of all of Wales is disproportionate to the risk in some parts of the country. " Country & # 39 ;.
Supermarkets designed by the police (pictured outside a Lidl) to stamp out searches of high-demand items at the start of the pandemic
Police at a Tesco supermarket earlier in the pandemic as tensions surged with shoppers desperate for essential goods
The bacteriologist says the restaurant and pub closings in Scotland and Wales are NOT backed by "solid evidence".
The closings of pubs and restaurants in Scotland and Wales are not backed by "solid evidence", according to a top researcher.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today unveiled her country's new tiered lockdown approach, while Wales started a 17-day “fire protection” at 6pm tonight.
The rules mean that the shutters come down on many sections of the main street in both countries. However, Hugh Pennington, a professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen, said he was frustrated with the lack of information being used to aid the closure.
It comes after hospitality groups have signaled their intention to take legal action against the government.
The Scottish Beer and Pub Association, Scottish Licensed Trade Association, UK Hospitality (Scotland), Scottish Hospitality Group and Night Time Industries Association Scotland are pursuing action.
They said there was "no solid evidence" of the closings of bars and restaurants that were extended for another week in the Central Belt yesterday.
Prof. Pennington said he understood the hotel groups' decision to take legal action.
He said, “I can see where they are from.
“I can see why you want to see more data.
“I think those of us who are not involved in the government machine would like to see this data.
“I was quite frustrated with the lack of information about outbreaks and the evidence used.
“What the hospitality industry wants to see is the evidence that drives politics.
“There's evidence from the international scene, we know there have been outbreaks in pubs and of course there was the Aberdeen outbreak.
“But what I haven't seen, and what the hotel industry will be very happy to see, is whether there has been a detailed study of an outbreak.
“You can do pretty sophisticated analysis pretty quickly, and I haven't seen that data.
"And if there is evidence, the hospitality industry can accept it. That is why you are so dependent on us."
Nick McKerrell, an expert on licensing law at Glasgow Caledonian University, said judicial review is an "expensive and complicated" process.
Sara Jones, director of the Welsh Retail Consortium, said: "It is ill-conceived and short-sighted to force retailers to stop selling certain items without being clearly told what can and cannot be sold."
And James Lowman, head of the Association of Convenience Stores, added, "Retailers must not be forced to stop making products available to customers just because ministers do not consider them essential."
A spokesman for the Welsh government said: "The ceasefire is intended to reduce all physical contact between households to an absolute minimum in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus and save lives.
“We have a small window in which to take these actions and there are no easy decisions.
"However, we are fully aware of the impact the fire is having on businesses and we are providing an additional £ 300 million to support them through this difficult time."
At the start of the pandemic, hordes of shoppers came to supermarkets at dawn to stock up on cleared aisles across the country after weeks of panic buying.
Demands from the government and retailers to consider other people and avoid panic buying have been largely ignored. Those who showed restraint had to flock to the stores well before opening hours to make sure they didn't go empty-handed.
Individual stores have taken steps to limit the number of products people could buy, while police and private security guards have even been drafted to stamp out searches of high-demand items like toilet paper.
Mr Drakeford said this week, “It is a very difficult time indeed and that is why we ultimately chose the shortest possible length of time for a fire to break out – a two-week period.
“But if you make it short, you have to make it deep. There is a compromise.
“We could have spent a longer period of time with a little less restriction, but in the end the advice to us – partly due to the mental health implications – was that you could keep that period as short as possible. that would help mitigate these effects. & # 39;
Meanwhile, it was revealed yesterday that more than 1,000 Cardiff University students and three staff members have reported positive tests for coronavirus with the NHS since early October, and more than 2,000 are currently self-isolating.
The university's numbers show that 730 students and three employees reported failing an NHS test, and that the company's in-house asymptomatic testing service identified an additional 292 cases among employees and students – bringing the total number of cases tested positive to 1,025 elevated.
The daily total for positive tests was 164 on October 18, and 2,346 students were self-isolating that day. Of the self-isolators, 235 reported doing so because they had symptoms.
It comes as the UK yesterday announced another 21,242 positive coronavirus tests and the deaths of another 189 people, while Sir Patrick Vallance claimed up to 90,000 could become infected with the virus every day.
The chief scientific adviser said the numbers "are still going in the wrong direction" but also admitted that the UK's outbreak appears to be slowing.
Official data this afternoon shows cases are 12 percent higher than the 18,980 on Thursday last week – the smallest increase of seven days in any day in one day this week – while deaths are up 37 percent from 138.
In a televised briefing with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Sir Patrick showed dias showing an estimated 22,000 to 90,000 new infections in England every day.
The startling upper estimate comes from a statement by the SAGE subgroup SPI-M, which Sir Patrick regularly models with viruses, and whose members are known for advocating national circuit breaker lockdowns.
Estimates from the Office of National Statistics are generally considered to be the most reliable measure as they are based directly on random mass smear tests of the English population but are two weeks out of date.
Last Friday, they estimated there were 27,800 new infections a day for the first week of October, including people who were never tested. A new estimate will be released today and Sir Patrick said he expected a significantly higher value.
Sir Patrick also said it now appears to be between 14 and 18 days for cases to double in the country, slower than the estimated seven days in mid-September.
In other coronavirus news:
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new bailout package for companies in local restricted areas worth £ 3 billion per month, offering companies up to £ 2,100 per month in Tier 2, increasing cash grants for the self-employed and reducing the hours required to qualify for vacation ;
- Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and Slough will all meet Tier 2 restrictions starting Saturday as local officials want to avoid moving to the top tier if their outbreaks worsen.
- Nottinghamshire Council Presidents are expected to meet with the government next week to discuss whether to move the area to level three as the city still has the highest infection rate in England.
- Public Health England data shows that infection rates are falling in the North West, North East and Central Plateau regions for the first time since the summer.
- SAGE has warned that spreading the virus among young people in an attempt to protect the elderly would have "dire consequences" for the NHS.
- Covid-19 infection rates in the five worst-hit student areas in England halved in a week in mid-October, which gives hope that cases among young people are trending downwards.
- According to a government report, ethnic minority people in the UK will continue to be at higher risk than whites as the coronavirus outbreak continues as the factors that increase their risk cannot be changed quickly.
Commenting on the weekly ONS data, which estimates how many people are currently suffering from Covid-19 – last week the number was between 312,000 and 362,000 – Sir Patrick said, “We expect the new numbers tomorrow (Friday) and they will be higher. So I'm sure we continue to see an increase in the total number of people with the virus. & # 39;
He then explained the new estimate of SPI-M's daily cases, adding, “The modeling consensus suggests that between 53 and 90,000 new infections can occur per day.
“Obviously, with this number of infections, you also expect an increase in hospital admissions. Overall, the number of infections continues to rise across the country. & # 39;
Sir Patrick Vallance said the numbers "are still going in the wrong direction" but also admitted that the UK's outbreak appears to be slowing
He pointed out that the number of people being admitted to hospitals every day has increased significantly over the past month, reminding people that the number of people is due to cases caused by the two-week delay between the virus and the virus has already occurred, will continue to rise seriously ill.
Despite regular warnings from the chief scientific adviser that the outbreak is worrying and will kill many more people, Sir Patrick was optimistic and admitted that there are signs of a slowdown.
The fact that the R-rate stays above one – SAGE estimates it to be 1.3 to 1.5 – means "the epidemic is still growing," he said.
“As long as R is above one, the epidemic will continue to grow, and it will continue to grow at a reasonable rate – it may double every 14 to 18 days – unless the R drops below one.
“But I want to say that there are some areas where we are starting to see real effects of what is happening. There is some evidence that rates among young people are falling or flattening a bit because of the tremendous effort people have made to hold onto these behavioral changes that we need to bring them down.
“And there may be a slight flattening in some areas of the country. So the measures are working, but we need to do more if the goal is to get R below one and reduce this epidemic. & # 39;
"Santa Claus is a Key Worker": Nicola Sturgeon is forced to make a bizarre televised address to Scottish children after her best medical advisor said that hopes of a large family Christmas are a "fiction" that affects theirs FIVE ANIMAL LOCKOUT affects
Nicola Sturgeon was forced to make a bizarre promise to Scottish children that Santa would deliver their Christmas presents after her best medical advisor called hopes of a traditional festive gathering "fiction".
The Prime Minister joked that their national clinical director, Professor Jason Leitch, would be featured on the front pages of newspapers as the Grinch after saying families should prepare to watch loved ones via Zoom because of the coronavirus.
She tried to downplay the importance of his statements at her daily press conference yesterday when she came under increasing fire over a five-tier lockdown system that was supposed to be even tougher than Boris Johnson's in England.
The Prime Minister was hit by a wave of anger after it was revealed she would like to take a tougher approach than the Prime Minister, with more curbs to help fight the pandemic.
Ms. Sturgeon was faced with a barrage of questions when she faced the media after Prof. Leitch told BBC Scotland this morning that while there might be some “normality” over Christmas, “we don't have large family groups will have several families, that's fiction for this year & # 39 ;.
When asked if Santa Clauses need to use Zoom in their grottos across the country, she turned to the camera and said, “When Santa is watching children, Santa won't be prevented from delivering your presents on Christmas Eve. He is a key worker and has many magical powers that make him sure to do so.
“If he has to do Zoom cave appearances to protect you, it's not because he's at risk. As usual, Santa Claus will deliver gifts all over the world. & # 39;
She added, "Since I spend so much time responding to Jason's comments today, I should get him to dress up as the Grinch for Halloween and do a briefing to cheer everyone up."
The Prime Minister joked that their national clinical director, Professor Jason Leitch, would be featured on the front pages of newspapers as the Grinch after saying families should prepare to watch loved ones via Zoom because of the coronavirus
The Prime Minister was hit by a wave of anger after it was revealed she would like to take a tougher approach than the Prime Minister, with more curbs to help fight the pandemic
Prof. Leitch told BBC Scotland this morning that while there may be some "normality" around Christmas, "we won't have large family groups with multiple families, that's fiction for this year".
The First Minister (campaigning last December) said: "Since I spend so much time responding to Jason's (Leitch) comments today, I should get him to dress up as the Grinch for Halloween and do a briefing, to cheer everyone up. "
Professor Leitch told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland program: “Christmas is not going to be normal, there is absolutely no question about that.
“We're not going to have large family groups with multiple families, that's fiction for this year.
“I am confident that if we can bring the numbers down to a certain level, we can possibly achieve some form of normalcy.
"People should get their digital Christmas ready."
Ms. Sturgeon later said he was simply trying to be honest with people about the difficult decisions they faced.
“What he's trying to do is be open with people about the reality we live in, and not rule things out prematurely, but also not try to give people false assurances,” she said.
Questions and Answers on Scotland's Coronavirus Lockdown
I live in the Central Belt, which is currently the most restricted in Scotland. Will we be placed in the top tier when the new system is introduced?
It is expected that according to the current proposals, no areas will initially be classified in the top, fifth level. Instead, areas with the most stringent restrictions currently in place are likely to be upgraded to Tier 4 when the system goes into effect on November 2nd. This could include a continuation of the current restrictions, such as the closure of licensed premises.
Our children missed a lot of school towards the end of the last school year because of the Covid-19 lockdown. Could the schools close again?
Nicola Sturgeon has stated that her "standard" position is to keep schools open during future closures, highlighting other countries that have kept the education system running even during the total closure. Under the new tier system, schools should not automatically close even if the local area reaches the top alert. It is believed that a "judgment" will be made on a case-by-case basis as to whether or not students are sent home.
Are there levels where life becomes normal again?
Yes, below Tier Zero, life is expected to resemble normal before the pandemic.
Are the stages implemented at the health department or local authority level?
It is understood that the restrictions will be set by the community area rather than the health department, as is the case with the current restrictions.
What are the rules for areas at the highest level?
Those living in an area subject to the top tier restrictions would face restrictions almost as severe as the full lockdown that was imposed across the UK in March when people were told to stay at home, and there were strict travel restrictions.
What do the three middle levels contain?
These are intended to largely reflect the English system. It is expected that the “rule of six” applies in the second stage, which means that people can only socialize indoors or outdoors in groups of six adults from a maximum of two households. The rule applies to pubs and restaurants, where customers are required to wear face covers indoors even when they are not eating or drinking. In the next stage, Scots should not make contact with people outside their household or an extended household indoors. The rule of six still applies to socializing outdoors.
In the fourth stage, it is expected that people will be forbidden to come into contact, indoors or outdoors, with someone they do not live with or with whom they have not established an extended household.
“I want us to be able to celebrate Christmas as normally as we can in a global pandemic. And my message to people is, the more we all stick to these really difficult restrictions now, the better the chance we will do that. & # 39;
Details of the new tier system are set to be set out today, with the highest bracket possibly condemning large areas to a March-style squeeze. It will raise concerns that England may find itself in a similar position to what has often been the case in previous stages of the crisis.
But pubs, restaurants and retailers are already alarmed that they are facing a disastrous winter, with dire predictions that two-thirds of hotel businesses could close.
The licensed trade said companies had been "kept in the dark" because of the new wave of regulations, warning that the sector was "staring into the abyss" and that thousands of jobs were at risk.
Stephen Montgormery of the Scottish Hospitality Group wrote in yesterday's Daily Mail: “Yesterday the Scottish Government effectively called for the last orders for the hotel industry in our country.
Hundreds of viable businesses are about to shut down, affecting the livelihoods of thousands of people.
We have repeatedly asked the government to work with us on a solution. Again and again we faced a closed door.
The next few days will be critical. The hospitality sector is in financial decline as the long, difficult winter lies ahead. & # 39;
Paul Waterson of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association warned, “Hundreds of businesses are facing permanent shutdowns and thousands of jobs will be lost – the damage could be irreparable.
& # 39; We estimate that two thirds of hotel operations could be mothballed or perish in the coming months. Over 50 percent of jobs in the pub and bar area could also be lost. & # 39;
The First Minister also declined to rule out school closings in badly affected areas, saying that blended learning could be reintroduced in extreme circumstances.
Don Lawson, owner of Inverness Bar Johnny Foxes, told the press and the Journal that the government should ban the sale of alcohol in supermarkets and licenses in order to save pubs.
He said: “Pubs are facing an unprecedented crisis and the jobs and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people are at risk.
& # 39; Many of our beloved pubs are at real risk as the trade is significantly reduced and costs increased due to questionable restrictions.
“I think the answer to the hospitality puzzle is this: The Scottish government bans all supermarket alcohol sales and licenses, including pubs and restaurants.
"Alcohol can only be sold in pubs and restaurants. This will boost the local economy and save thousands of jobs."
Stuart McPhee, director of Siberia Aberdeen and spokesman for the Aberdeen Hospitality Group, responded to the suggestion, saying, “I'm all for trying something. It's as radical as any other idea.
“I certainly endorsed some ideas like closing down rooms that don't obey the rules.
"We as an industry have to work with the Scottish Government to find a solution as we are the third largest employer in the country."
It came as Scotland had its deadliest day since May. 28 Covid-19-related deaths were recorded within 24 hours.
Another 1,739 people tested positive and 49 patients were hospitalized. 73 people are currently living in intensive care units across the country.
The new five-tier system is due to be introduced on November 2nd.
Ms. Sturgeon said the current restrictions on pubs and restaurants will remain in place until then.
She has already indicated that the three intermediate tiers will be broadly similar to the new system in England – where areas are classified as either “medium”, “high” or “very high”.
However, in Scotland there will also be a lower level for areas with fewer cases of Covid-19 and the clinical director, Prof. Jason Leitch, stated that travel restrictions are being put in place to prevent people from higher classes from entering these areas pull.
In areas of the lowest tier, people have "a little more freedom than in other parts of the country".
In contrast, Professor Leitch said areas at the highest level would be subject to a "fuller" lockdown, although schools would remain "as open as possible".
The new system is not expected to go into effect until November 2nd, replacing the temporary hospitality restrictions that were extended on Wednesday for an additional week to that date.
Professor Leitch spoke on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland show that advisors are currently working on which levels should be applied in different areas.
He said, "We will give advice and then the decision makers will make those decisions over the weekend and into the next week."
He explained that a five-tier system in Scotland is preferred to the three-tier system in England because "we think that as a consultant you need to have everything in your toolbox".
He added: “You have to have the low end because if you were an area in Scotland with very low prevalence you might have a little more freedom than other parts of the country.
“Then there is the middle one… something like what we're in right now in different parts of the country.
"But we think you need something in your toolbox that says you have the option of a wider, unfortunate lockdown if they don't work in time to protect the National Health Service and protect people from the disease."
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